Hilton Honors Extends Elite Status Again!

Hilton Honors Extends Elite Status Again!

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Hilton Honors has been taking the lead among major hotel loyalty programs during the pandemic when it comes to extending status (and more). We’re seeing that once again, as Hilton Honors has announced that it will extend status by another year, and will reduce elite requirements for next year. Let’s go over the details.

Hilton Honors extending status through 2023

Hilton Honors will be extending status by another year. All current Hilton Honors elite members will have status extended through March 31, 2023. This is Hilton’s third time extending status:

  • Hilton Honors first extended status through March 31, 2021 (this was based on the 2019 program year, so this was pure generosity on Hilton’s part, since it was before the pandemic impacted travel in most of the world)
  • Hilton Honors then extended status through March 31, 2022
Hilton Honors is extending status a third time

Hilton Honors reducing 2022 elite requirements

Hilton Honors will once again be relaxing elite requirements in 2022. In 2022, Hilton Honors will make it 30% easier to qualify for status:

For some context, here are the usual elite qualification tiers:

  • Hilton Honors Silver status ordinarily requires 10 nights, four stays, or 25,000 base points
  • Hilton Honors Gold status ordinarily requires 40 nights, 20 stays, or 75,000 base points
  • Hilton Honors Diamond status ordinarily requires 60 nights, 30 stays, or 120,000 base points

In 2021, Hilton Honors reduced elite requirements by 50%, so the 30% reduction isn’t quite as extreme as what we saw in 2021, but that’s to be expected.

In addition to reduced Hilton Honors elite requirements, in 2022 we’ll also see milestone bonuses and elite status gifting thresholds reduced:

  • With the Hilton Honors milestone bonuses program, members will earn 10,000 bonus points for passing 30 elite nights, an additional 10,000 bonus points for every 10 additional elite nights, and a one-time bonus of 30,000 points for passing 60 elite nights
  • At 40 elite nights members have a one-time gift of Gold status for a friend or family member, which can be upgraded to Diamond status at 70 elite nights
Hilton Honors elite thresholds are being reduced in 2022

Hilton Honors rolling over elite nights

All Hilton Honors nights completed in 2021 will automatically roll over and count towards 2022 elite requirements. In other words, if you’re a Hilton Honors Diamond member who earns 10 elite nights this year, you’d start next year with 10 elite nights. However, note that nights rolled over from previous years wouldn’t roll over again.

Hilton Honors first introduced the concept of rollover nights in 2018, though that was specifically in situations where you earn more elite nights than are required in a particular calendar year.

Hilton Honors elite nights earned in 2021 will roll over

Hilton Honors extending points

Many loyalty programs have paused the expiration of points during the pandemic, and Hilton Honors is now taking that a step further. Hilton Honors is pausing points expiration through December 31, 2022. As a reminder, Hilton Honors points expire after 12 months of inactivity as of December 2021 Hilton Honors points expire after 24 months.

Hilton Honors is extending points expiration

Free weekend nights continue to have flexibility

Free weekend night certificates issued with Hilton co-branded credit cards will continue to have more flexibility. Those issued in 2022 can be used any day of the week, and not just on weekends. That’s fantastic.

As of now there aren’t plans to extend the expiration of free night certificates issued in 2022. Certificates issued in 2020 and 2021 have had more than 12 months of validity, though as of now 2022 certificates will expire after 12 months.

Hilton Honors free night certificates have more flexibility

My take on Hilton Honors’ loyalty extensions

Hilton Honors is leading the way when it comes to extending elite perks by another year. That’s no doubt impressive, and presumably reflects that the hotel group hasn’t seen anywhere close to a full recovery when it comes to how much elite members are traveling. While lots of people are traveling for leisure, many road warriors are still grounded.

In fairness, I think it’s also worth acknowledging that Hilton Honors gives away elite status more than any other major hotel group. You can earn Hilton Honors Gold and Diamond status just for having a credit card, so I’d imagine Hilton’s elite ranks are a bit more swelled than with other programs.

Will other hotel loyalty programs follow? I’m not convinced that they will, but I certainly could be wrong. I wouldn’t be surprised to see other hotel groups not formally extend status in advance, but rather perhaps after the fact quietly extend status, offer fast tracks, or something of the sort.

It can be a tough balance for loyalty programs to strike:

  • Programs want to engage members as much as possible, and create programs that incentivize travel, even during these times
  • At the same time, programs don’t want to totally lock out the business travelers that have seen a huge reduction in travel during the pandemic
I’m curious if we see other hotel programs extend status

Bottom line

Hilton Honors has become the first major hotel group to extend status by a further year. In addition to that, Hilton Honors has already reduced 2022 elite requirements by 30%, plus all nights earned this year will roll over to next year. Hilton Honors is also further pausing points expiration, and is making free night awards redeemable any night of the week for an additional year.

What do you make of Hilton Honors extending status once again? Do you think other hotel groups will follow?

Conversations (24)
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  1. Dana Martin Guest

    DM
    I am thankful! Thank you Hilton for the extension. It's much appreciated!

  2. Olivia Guest

    They may be extending the statues, but the perks of these statues haven't been extended. For example, throughout the UK, most Hilton's have their lounge closed temporarily, or for good. So that perk is gone.
    Room service? Gone. Cookies at DoubleTree? only at check in now apparently, or maybe the receptionist was just stingy.
    Some hotels and their breakfast selection is ... lacking.
    Not doing a great job to want me to...

    They may be extending the statues, but the perks of these statues haven't been extended. For example, throughout the UK, most Hilton's have their lounge closed temporarily, or for good. So that perk is gone.
    Room service? Gone. Cookies at DoubleTree? only at check in now apparently, or maybe the receptionist was just stingy.
    Some hotels and their breakfast selection is ... lacking.
    Not doing a great job to want me to make the most out of these reduced eligibility requirements, if I am honest.

  3. Frederik Guest

    I recently called Radisson Rewards. The agent apologised to me that there are no plans to extend current status, so eg I will be demoted down to Silver. I cannot see many Golds remaining though, as travel has also been very affected the first half of this year.

  4. Reno Joe Guest

    Someone who has continued to travel will earn tier status anyway.

    Someone who holds "some" credit card will be granted tier status anyway.

    It seems all of these hotels are fighting over the less frequent traveling "swing vote" (so to speak).

    It's a race to the bottom . . . and the joke is that tier benefits will continue to be devalued or denied.

    Wise up everybody.

  5. kenindfw Guest

    I wouldn't be surprised if other hotel brands announce some concessions prior to year end. I doubt the business traveler is going to be hitting the road in 2022 like they did in 2019. Most companies have shifted, road warriors may be like the dinosaur. Less expense on companies means more in the budgets for "C" suite compensation.

    While business travel won't completely go away, instead of traveling 100% I wouldn't be surprised if it's...

    I wouldn't be surprised if other hotel brands announce some concessions prior to year end. I doubt the business traveler is going to be hitting the road in 2022 like they did in 2019. Most companies have shifted, road warriors may be like the dinosaur. Less expense on companies means more in the budgets for "C" suite compensation.

    While business travel won't completely go away, instead of traveling 100% I wouldn't be surprised if it's curtailed significantly to start. A once monthly trip may become once quarterly instead with Zoom or MS Teams (cough, cough) in between. Consulting practices have shifted also through remote work and are proving just as effective if not more.

    Bosses may want bodies on-site, but the work environment for some jobs has dramatically changed.

  6. Rich Guest

    So do all these rolled over years count towards lifetime diamond qualification (10 years holding diamond)?

  7. Seb C Guest

    Will Hilton offer reduced status match again I wonder? 2021 was 9 nights in 90 days for Diamond, assuming the same pro rata it would be 12 or 13 in 2022?

  8. Frank Guest

    Makes sense. While North America and Europe has rebounded travel wise, the Asia Pacific region is just slowly starting to open up. Many travelers are still restricted on where they can go in this region.

  9. derek Guest

    Far better than Hertz, who just cancelled all my points despite two requests to extend them to 12/31/2021 like they so to some elites.

    Not a huge loss, just a one day rental, which is why I did not use up the award for a local rental.

  10. FNT Delta Diamond Guest

    This is the perfect opportunity for Choice, Hyatt, IHG, Marriott or Radisson to say, "Come stay with us and if you do, you'll get this and that." Ignoring the fact that Hilton gives away top-level elite status through its co-branded credit card, there is no point staying with Hilton until the third or fourth quarters of 2022. Someone needs to incentivize customers to actually stay with them by improving benefits. If David Flueck is worth...

    This is the perfect opportunity for Choice, Hyatt, IHG, Marriott or Radisson to say, "Come stay with us and if you do, you'll get this and that." Ignoring the fact that Hilton gives away top-level elite status through its co-branded credit card, there is no point staying with Hilton until the third or fourth quarters of 2022. Someone needs to incentivize customers to actually stay with them by improving benefits. If David Flueck is worth anything he would find a way to actually improve tangible titanium and ambassador benefits. But there real opportunity is a weaker brand like Choice or IHG.

  11. khatl Guest

    I only stay at Hilton's a few nights a year... but did get a credit card in 2018 that gave me Gold status (despite ditching the card in 2019). So I'll now have had Gold status for basically five years despite not qualifying for Gold even if I accumulated all the nights I have and will stay! It's an amazing time. Now I just need Hyatt to roll over!

    1. Mm Guest

      Yeah I have this but Diamond

      Aspire in 2019, downgraded in 2020
      Diamond for 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, (part of 2023)... lol
      Hopefully that's 4-5 years of diamond status that counts towards lifetime.

  12. Diana Guest

    Lucky,
    Do you think Marriott might extend their free nights? I have 3 nights that I haven't been able to use because we still are not traveling due to my high risk kid who is still not eligible for the vaccine. They all expire in Jan 2022.

  13. Jeff Guest

    What would really help me is extending the free night certificates that are expiring on January 3, 2022!

  14. Joe1293 Guest

    This why Hilton is the best

  15. Grey Member

    I mean, in many parts of the world, it has not been easy to travel through this year. And if people lose their status this year, not only will they not have an incentive to book with their former chain in the future, but additionally many would surely be incentivised to move to another chain, having been annoyed that their chain didn't recognise long term loyalty.

  16. iv Guest

    I think adding the milestone bonuses as incentive for members to stay engaged is the right move.

    Hotel programs need to offer better bonuses and promos beyond just extending status. There were several nights I stayed locally this past year just to earn point bonuses.

    Let's hope Marriott follows Hilton's lead.

  17. D3kingg Guest

    Alarming that reduced business travel and restricted leisure international travel is becoming the norm. I spend 20+ nights a year at hotels and am getting status. Glad I left Wyndham for Hilton. Doubletree > La Quinta. Hilton Honors is great.

  18. Ghostrider5408 Guest

    I applaud Hilton for being proactive in this. Interesting I was just about to call as I am sitting on 750K points with no plans to travel in the foreseeable future. I would have liked to see the points expiration extended as far out as status. For me I am not sure I feel comfortable traveling international until 2023. I have plans for 2023. I don't wish to sound like "debbie downer" but these covid mutations are getting a little scary.

    1. kenindfw Guest

      @Ghostrider - go buy some Hilton points, that'll extend your expiration date for sure! I've done it every year for the past 5 years.

  19. CSR 2.0 Guest

    Wow, I'm surprised by this.

    Ben, what's your guess as to the reason here? Most likely explanation is that the recovery hasn't been as strong as hoped/expected, but it's also possible that they are playing offense.

    Have you heard anything from WoH about a Q4 promo?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ CSR 2.0 -- Great question. There's no doubt that business travel is nowhere close to having recovered, so I'm guessing Hilton Honors doesn't want to lose those business travelers who have seen a huge reduction in travel. That being said, fully extending status is a double-edged sword, since it also largely eliminates the incentive to be engaged in the program for the time being.

      I haven't heard anything about a Q4 promo from World...

      @ CSR 2.0 -- Great question. There's no doubt that business travel is nowhere close to having recovered, so I'm guessing Hilton Honors doesn't want to lose those business travelers who have seen a huge reduction in travel. That being said, fully extending status is a double-edged sword, since it also largely eliminates the incentive to be engaged in the program for the time being.

      I haven't heard anything about a Q4 promo from World of Hyatt, though I'm curious as well, with the current promo ending today. I have to imagine we'll see something, as virtually every other hotel group has a promotion for the fall.

  20. Chris Guest

    Are they extending free night certificates earned in 2020/2021? Is it even worth it to keep the Aspire card at this point?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Chris -- Those earned in 2020 and 2021 already have extended expirations, though as of now those issued in 2022 won't get an extended expiration. Personally I've found the Hilton Aspire Card to still be hugely valuable, and I've gotten so much value out of the perks in the past year. That being said, I realize that's not the case for everyone.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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Dana Martin Guest

DM I am thankful! Thank you Hilton for the extension. It's much appreciated!

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Olivia Guest

They may be extending the statues, but the perks of these statues haven't been extended. For example, throughout the UK, most Hilton's have their lounge closed temporarily, or for good. So that perk is gone. Room service? Gone. Cookies at DoubleTree? only at check in now apparently, or maybe the receptionist was just stingy. Some hotels and their breakfast selection is ... lacking. Not doing a great job to want me to make the most out of these reduced eligibility requirements, if I am honest.

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Frederik Guest

I recently called Radisson Rewards. The agent apologised to me that there are no plans to extend current status, so eg I will be demoted down to Silver. I cannot see many Golds remaining though, as travel has also been very affected the first half of this year.

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